By JoAnna Ness, Nov 7 2018 03:45PM
“If you go across any sociological metric of a community, such as homelessness, drug use, or unplanned pregnancies, RISE probably impacts that number in Steuben County in some way,” shared Chris Stackhouse, Executive Director of RISE, Inc. RISE was established to help people live, work, and learn in the community and at home. For individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, navigating the world can be a challenge. RISE steps in to serve these individuals and their families across a large spectrum of needs, from help tying shoes to applying to Trine University. Clients at RISE participate in a variety of activities, including cooking dog treats for a local dog grooming business, taking typing classes in a computer lab to produce a newsletter, and learning about photography. They recently utilized these skills to prepare for RISE to the Occasion, the organization’s annual fundraiser, by taking photos of silent auction items and creating colorful paintings for bidding.
Stackhouse started on the board of RISE in November of 2016, and he transitioned to his role as Executive Director in October of 2017. “What drives me,” said Stackhouse, “is how we support families through taking care of their loved ones.” RISE acts as a community partner, working to improve quality of life and instill hope in people. “During their time of need, we come alongside and help families and our clients navigate tough life choices.” Occasionally this means RISE has stepped up to provide emergency services when needed, but each client’s needs and goals are different. Much of the work at RISE is fueled by witnessing clients make progress towards these goals. “Recently, we’ve seen an uptick in successful job placements in the hospitality industry, so being able to pivot to what industry is in demand has been big,” said Stackhouse.